A U.S. Navy ship served as a training platform for helicopter pilots from the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, 22-24 February.
Emirati pilots conducted deck landing qualifications aboard U.S. Navy expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) as the ship operated in the Arabian Gulf, enhancing interoperability among regional maritime partners.
“The pilots and aircrew integrated seamlessly with the deck crew of Lewis B. Puller,” said Capt. Jon Bradford, commanding officer of Lewis B. Puller. “It was a great experience for my team and we look forward to working with our Emirati partners in the future.”
The deck landing qualifications helped 25 Emirati military pilots maintain proficiency in landing on the flight deck of a ship at sea.
During the three-day training opportunity, UH-60M Black Hawk, CH-47F Chinook, MH-60M Direct Action Penetrator (DAP), Bell 407, AS332 Super Puma, AS565 Panther, and AH-64D Apache helicopters conducted 158 landings. Emirati personnel also practiced fast-rope insertion training on Lewis B. Puller’s flight deck.
Lewis B. Puller is forward-deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet and is capable of supporting a wide variety of missions including counter-piracy, maritime security, disaster relief and crisis response operations.
The U.S. 5th Fleet operating area includes 21 countries, the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandeb and Suez Canal.